How Can I Establish Boundaries that Promote My Recovery Journey?

Man with feet on line

One aspect of recovery involves establishing boundaries; knowing when to say “no”, when to leave, and what situations need to be avoided are all part of living the values you’ve set for your recovery. In general, healthy boundaries are meant to ensure your mental, physical, and emotional safety. When we don’t set boundaries for ourselves, we become vulnerable to people, situations, and feelings that could jeopardize our recovery, risking relapse. If you become involved in a reputable treatment program for addiction and/or mental illness, you will work with your healthcare team to identify your boundaries and ways to exert them if needed.

There are several ways that you can establish boundaries:

  • Identify what you need. What will help you the most when it comes to your success in recovery? Perhaps it’s having a supportive environment, getting rid of any and all substances in the house, surrounding yourself with people who want to maintain sobriety, and more. Knowing what you need will make it that much easier to recognize what’s missing or hindering your recovery.
  • Give yourself permission to express what you need. When you come home from completing your treatment program, allow yourself to express to your loved ones what is needed during this time. After all, it’s everything you’ve worked so hard for.
  • Be specific about what you want. Not everyone can read your mind, so it’s important to be specific in what is needed. For example, if you need support from your significant other, tell them exactly what type of support you need. Do you need them to speak more positively about your sobriety, or do you need to them to continue providing you with words of encouragement each day? State your needs explicitly.
  • Ask for what you want without guilt. Do not be afraid to say “no” to friends who want to engage in behaviors that take you a step back in your recovery. Overcoming addiction means making a change, and you cannot feel guilty about bettering yourself.
  • Take matters into your own hands. If you need something and those around you are not willing to help, take matters into your own hands. For example, if you’re at a place where substances are being abused and you want to go home but your friends are not willing to take you, call a cab. Do not allow yourself to be at the mercy of others.
  • Support and love yourself. The journey to recovery isn’t always easy – there will be ups and downs along the way. What’s most important is that you continue to love yourself and be patient with yourself throughout the process.


Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.